A home inspection is a nerve-wracking few hours. In a few hours you’ll hear everything that is not to “today’s standard” in your home. On first approach, it can sound like everything is wrong with your new home that you were so excited about and you’ve bought a money pit. Let us assure you that every home inspection comes out with a full report. There is no such thing as a perfect home. While things are not to “today’s standard”, that does not mean that there’s something wrong with the house. Often times it means that when the home was built, something like the insulation was done to the current code of when it was built but has not since been updated. What we always tell clients is to really listen to the inspector because he/she will differentiate the difference between “not to current code, but not a real issue” and “a real issue.” The inspector will also give you advice on how to maintain your property over the years and problem solve issues that may arise.
But, here’s the real question that every buyer wants to know…..what do we ask for and what’s a good negotiation strategy?
Essentially, you can ask for anything but the sellers don’t have to do anything. We advise our clients to focus on major items such as plumbing, electrical, roof, mechanicals, foundation and anything structural. Things of a cosmetic nature or minor repairs that can be easily fixed should be left off of the list. We also have a discussion with clients about what’s more important to them….getting a credit or having the sellers fix the problem. For some buyers, they don’t have any additional money to fix the problems so the credit would be pointless. They need it taken care of before they move in. For others, they want to do it their way so they want the credit and then will take care of the items later.
Understand that its highly unlikely that you’ll get everything you asked for. But, know going into it what you’re willing to give up and what’s a deal breaker for you. It’s important to communicate that to your agent so that they can appropriately negotiate for you. It can also be helpful to get quotes for various items that you’d like done so that the seller is aware of the true costs associated with each repair. We will happily recommend contractors and arrange for these quotes to get taken care of for our clients.
In the end you do have the right to terminate your contract and receive your deposit back should you not be able to come to an agreement because of the inspection.